Micromax today introduced a new budget smartphone, The Canvas Xpress 4G, and apparently Xpress implies its exclusive availability on Flipkart. It’s important to balance your expectations at the budget price point as compromises are inevitable. So let’s just put on our budget-phone-lenses and the budget-phone-hat before we scrutinize Canvas Xpress 4G, based on our initial impression of course.
Key Specifications and Features
|Model||Micromax Canvas Xpress 4G|
|Display||5 Inches, 720p HD IPS|
|Processor||1GHz quad MediaTek MT6735P|
|Internal Storage||16GB, 32GB MicroSD Card support|
|Software||Android 5.1 Lollipop|
|Primary Camera||8MP auto focus rear camera with LED Flash|
|Secondary Camera||2MP fixed focus|
|Others||Dual SIM, 4G LTE|
Not breaking new grounds
The Micromax Canvas Xpress 4G didn’t feel much different from the rest of the phones you can buy in this budget. Arguably, Micromax is using reasonably good quality of plastic and the slim design with the gentle rear curve makes it comfortable to hold in hands (something the company refers to as ‘Aeronautical design’), but on the front side there is nothing interesting.
The 5 Inch display with HD resolution is sharp but feels bland. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 on top but is also prone to fingerprint smudges. Three silver capacitive keys are present below the display, which are not backlit but are shiny nonetheless.
What about that ostensible element of ‘premiumness’ you ask? Well, Micromax obliges with a metallic trim on the side edges. By and large everything looks like pretty standard affair on the outside, but again, in light of the affordable price, this borders on nitpicking.
Micromax Canvas Xpress 4G Photo Gallery
Performance and software expectations
On the inside there is 1 GHz quad-core MT6735P processor with 2GB RAM (1.5 GB free on first-boot) and 16GB internal storage (11.5 GB Free). The low cost MediaTek silicon combined with ample RAM and storage is perfectly reasonable for the price.
At the event, three jars of Marshmallows lined in the corners lifted my spirits and made my eyes shine. Was Micromax about to launch a Marshmallow running phone? After all we do expect our desi behemoth to pull such surprises once in a while, even when odds were against it due to several logical reasons and challenges involved.
If true, this would have been the X factor which would have lifted Xpress 4G several positions on the podium. Alas, for now you will have to remain content with Android 5.1 Lollipop based UI. The UI is almost stock with a custom launcher and an extensive set of preloaded apps. Icons used aren’t very pleasing and we did encounter a couple of software bugs in the hands-on prototype. We expect this won’t be the case with final retail units.
All that 4G talk
To differentiate Canvas Xpress 4G from numerous other low-cost devices Micromax churns out every year, the company highlighted the presence of 4G LTE. 30 percent of the phones are already running 4G LTE in India and several manufacturers are talking about how well the 4G is being received in India.
This isn’t entirely true as the recent spike in 4G adoption is more to the credit of chipset makers. Android has already transitioned to 64 bit chips (and Encryption in marshmallow will further seal the deal) and all new 64-Bit chips are 4G LTE enabled, so 4G LTE is now very much part of the package and it is almost as if manufacturers didn’t have much say in the matter. Also, if a device is being marketed as a 4G LTE phone, we would like to see a bigger battery, since the service guzzles battery like anything.
Micromax Canvas Xpress 4G has no ace up its sleeve, but at the same time it’s hard to find fault at the affordable price, at least not on the basis of precious little time that we have spent with it. We are not very enthusiastic about it as of now, but that might change post our full review of the device, when we have closely examined and lived with it in our own space.